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— Segment under development. Below is a review by Charles Pope —

Review: Ahmed Osman's Out of Egypt by Charles N. Pope

Charles Pope publishes: thedomaninofman.com

Out of Egypt: The Roots of Christianity Revealed, by Ahmed Osman presents the most complete examination to date on the relationship of the Amarna Period in Egypt with the birth of Israel. This book also presents fresh insight into the surprising Amarna precursors to Chrisitanity. As a result, the reader is provided with the most comprehensive, coherent and credible picture to date of the elusive origins of Judaism and Old Testament Messianic prophesy. The formidable challenge for Western readers will be in mustering the initial willingness to at least enterain that the Amarna Kings, including Akhenaten and Tutankhamun (yes, as in the former Pharaohs of Egypt), could have even remotely had anything to do with Judaism, much less Christianity. Yet, if one is somehow able to do this, the most amazing discovery in Religion of this entire century is waiting to be understood! With that potential payoff in mind, a charitable forbearance on the part of the reader is more than justified.

One tenet (of many) developed in Mr. Osman's new book is surprisingly straightforward when compared with today's confusing Dead Sea Scroll (DSS) theories. The 1st Century A.D. Jewish historian, Josephus, identified the Essenes as one of the four major Jewish sects of that period. Mr. Osman demonstrates that the name "Essene" is to be translated as "follower of Jesus (Essa)." This obvious literal translation had been overlooked, because of previously unquestioned assumptions about the novel origins of Christianity in the first Century A.D. In the new Eerdman's title, Beyond the Essene Hypothesis, Gabriele Boccaccini (p 47) implies that a convincing etymology for the name Essene has not been found, but that it applies to a larger group within Palestine that also included the Qumran community. Osman further points out that the particular "followers of Jesus" who were responsible for the DSS would naturally have drawn upon the book of Isaiah (also quite literally translated as "the book of Esais/Jesus") as their primary source of inspiration, and that no less than 18 copies of Isaiah have been found among the DSS.

If the namesake of the Essenes was not the first Century A.D. Jesus of Nazareth, then who could he have been? The first and most significant individual in the Old Testament record to be given the name Jesus was Joshua son of Nun, leader of the Israelite conquest of Canaan. (It is recognized that the most accurate translation is Jesus, and that Joshua is used in modern English translations to avoid "confusion." See footnotes in the King James Version where "Joshua" is found.) The logical place to look for the Jesus of the Essenes would therefore be in the person of Joshua, the man that Moses clearly designated as his equal (Deuteronomy 18:15). According to Osman, there should be nothing particulary surprising about this association either, as Christian thinkers from the early Church Fathers (and especially Eusebius who further informs us that Jesus/Joshua was NOT his original name) onward have always considered Joshua to represent a "pre-existent" type or symbol of the Messiah who was to come.

Out of Egypt, The Roots of Christianity Revealed

Author: Ahmed Osman

Publisher: Random House UK 20 Vaxhall Bridge Road, London, England SW1V 28A Tel: 840-8855; or from the US: 011 44 171 840-8855 Date of Publication: 3 September 1998

Random House Australia (Pty) Limited 20 Alfred Street, Milsons Point, Sydney, New South Wales 2061, Australia

Random House New Zealand Limited 18 Poland Road, Glenfield, Auckland 10, New Zealand

Random House South Africa (Pty) Limited Endulini, 5a Jubilee Road, Parktown 2193, South Africa